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National Convention on the EU at Comenius University, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin: State Secretary Ružička Discusses the EU with International Guests and Students

National Convention on the EU at Comenius University, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin: State Secretary Ružička Discusses the EU with International Guests and Students

26.11.2019 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov | Slovensko diskutuje o EÚ

On 26 November 2019, at the Comenius University, the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin hosted the eleventh part of the event series of the National Conventions on the EU. The event was organized as part of the strategic communication programme of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – #MYSMEEU (#WEAREEU) – and was attended by such international guests as Verena Seiser, adviser to the Federal Chancellor of Austria for European Affairs, and Vladimir Drobnjak, adviser to the Prime Minister of Croatia for Foreign Policy and European Affairs. During the discussion, hosted by Zuzana Gabrižová, both guests talked to students about the current and future challenges faced by the European Union. The event was opened by Andrea Čalkovská, Dean of the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine.  

 

In his opening speech, the State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, František Ružička, said: “The National Conventions on the EU held at Slovak universities are a good chance to talk to young people as well as the general public. We are interested in the opinions of young people, in their perception of the Union, their own place in it, and their most burning issues. It’s important to know where they would like to see the EU in 5-10 years, or how the Union will be able to address global issues, such as climate change or migration.” In connection with the participation of the international guests, the State Secretary said, “the presence of guests from other member states only confirms that Slovakia is a respected partner in the EU. Slovakia is not isolated, has great coalition potential and is capable of effectively promoting its interests in close collaboration with other member states. The interest of international partners and the convention model involving young people demonstrate the relevance of long-term, consistent and meaningful discussion with the public, particularly in the context of growing disinformation campaigns and misleading statements.”

 

The audience was interested in learning about the advantages and benefits resulting from our membership in the EU, the role of and possibilities for small and medium-sized countries, ways of facing disinformation of populism, and the consequences of Brexit as far as study and work in the UK will be concerned after the country has left the EU.

 

The following panel featured a discussion among students Pavol Faťun and Boris Ďurana, and two young diplomats of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Vanda Šipošová and Patrik Turošík. The main subject of the discussion was how the Union is viewed by the general public, particularly the young generation.

 

The accompanying programme included activities focused on fostering critical thinking and raising awareness about our membership in Euro-Atlantic structures. The activities, which were prepared by the Sebavedomé Slovensko (Self-Confident Slovakia) initiative, were aimed at secondary school students and teachers. The programme also included a puppet exhibition – Memo Gym – presenting important personalities of Slovak and European history.

 

The National Convention on the EU project, organized as part of the #MYSMEEU programme, aims to foster broad public discussion in Slovakia, particularly about issues related to the European Union and with a specific focus on its future and Slovakia’s place in it. 

 

In addition, the Convention presents an opportunity for the public, and especially young people, to express their opinions, which are then considered by the government and EU institutions when new policies are made.

 

Photographs are available for download at www.mzv.sk and https://www.flickr.com/photos/mzvsr/albums/72157711949305857